There has been a reported instance of a man in the past who jumps on water while carrying two weights – one in each hand, having picked up that snippet of information from the Giant Book of Fantastic Facts. Well, researchers have managed to come up with this particular robot which is capable of jumping on water in a way that is similar to that of a water strider. This is definitely not the first robot which will mimic the water-gliding insect’s skating motion, but it is the first of its kind which is capable of bouncing across a body of water. What are some of the practical applications of such a robot? Since it is able to maneuver nimbly on a pond or lake surface, it will also be able to see action when it comes to pollution monitoring or surveillance missions.

Specially designed by engineer Jie Zhao and his colleagues from China’s Harbin Institute of Technology, this particular water jumping robot measures six inches in length and tips the scales at approximately the weight of a wooden pencil, and for comparison’s sake, it is around 1,000 times the weight of an actual water strider. This robot still loses out to real water striders in terms of speed and agility though.

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